The decision of packing your stuff and going to study to the United States is not an easy one. In fact, it is probably going to be a decision that will be very important in your future. Personally, making the decision of going to the United States to pursue my academic career was the best choice I could’ve made.
However, the months and preparation previous to going abroad were very stressful both for me and for my family, since you have to follow a lot of important steps, and you can’t skip any of them. In every step, I happened to have some questions and doubts about how the best way was to approach this process. These doubts ended up pilling up and it came up to become a very stressful couple of months. My goal with this post is to tell you how my process what, as well as give you some tips and I will try to answer some questions you may have along the process of applying and getting ready to study in the United States.
Before talking about the application process and how I lived it, I wanted to give you two tips that, from my point of view, are basic if you want to go study to the United States. First of all, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a very good level of English by the time you begin your application process. As obvious as it may sound, you will need a high level of English to complete all the standardized tests you are asked to, as well as completing the application documents. Personally, I really focused on watching subtitled movies and TV shows in English. It helped me understand the accents, the vocabulary and the way the American people speak, it was incredibly useful for me. To improve my writing level, I also recommend you start reading some books in English. Reading can be a very useful way to improve your English level. My second tip is that it’s never too early to begin to research and learn more about the possibility of going abroad to study, which means you should start getting ready for the process as soon as you can. For example, if you’re still early in high school, but you believe that the United States can be a good option for your future, you can start to learn more about the application process, the exams you have to take and how to prepare them, how you can get in touch with the universities…
The process of going to the United States begins with making the decision. Once you have decided that you want to go study to the US, then the following steps begin.
The next step in, without a doubt, to read and research what do you need to go study to the US. For example, you will need to send a copy of your official transcript, which you should ask to your current school, and you should get ready for and take the different standardized tests that you are asked to in order to get admitted in an American school.
If you want to go study to the US, you will need to take either the SAT or the ACT, two tests that will be used by admissions’ teams to evaluate your capabilities. Moreover, if you are an international student, you will also need to take the TOEFL, an exam that evaluates your English abilities. This exam consists of four parts: a reading, a listening, a writing and a speaking part.
You shouldn’t only be researching about what you need to do in order to apply, but you should also take action and start getting ready and preparing yourself to obtain the best grade you can in these exams. On the other hand, if you are an athlete and want to obtain an athletic scholarship in the US, you will need to record yourself while playing your sport in order to send these tapes to college coaches. This is a key step, since coaches will be able to see your athletic abilities and evaluate if you can be an important piece in their teams.
Once you have researched more and learned about what you need to go study to the US and have also started getting ready to take the standardized tests, you will need to research about the different types of universities you can find in the US, and begin to establish preferences about where you want to go to. The United States, as you probably know, is a massive country. This means that there are universities of any kind.
For example, if you don’t mind the cold weather, you can look at northern universities, where winters are cold and snowy. However, if you want to avoid the cold weather, you might want to look at southern universities, where the weather is always nice and warm. However, weather should only be one factor to consider. Having said this, to establish preference and reduce your list to only your top priorities, you should find out as much information as you can about the types of universities in the US. You should decide what are the traits of your ideal school, and then focus on schools that look like your preferences list. A tool that can be very useful to look at when you are trying to reduce your list is to look at college rankings. These rankings can help you find schools that can be a great academic fit for you. Once you have completed your research, I would recommend that you create a list with your 10 to 15 top priorities, so you can focus more on the specific requirements for each of them.
Every university has a different admissions process, so once you have established your priorities list, you should find out the specific requirement of every college’s admissions process. There are similarities among every admissions process. You will need to send your official transcript and your SAT/ACT and TOEFL scores, as well as filling out an application form with your personal information. You will also need to complete at least one essay for every school you apply to. However, the topic of that essay will vary depending on the school. A very important difference between every application process that you must be aware of is the application deadline. Every college has different timelines, so it is very important that you know when every application deadline is so you are able to apply to every university you are interested in.
Don’t think that once you have submitted your application, the process is over. Now begins another part of the process, the one that includes more paperwork. Once you have sent all the official documents that are needed for the application process, then you will need to send some additional documents to complete the admission process. These documents include financial and immigration documents like a bank statement, affidavit and passport, as well as medical documents, like the immunization form and the medical history form. Once you have sent these documents, you will need to wait to receive the university’s response to your application.
After a university has accepted you, you will receive a notification allowing you to continue with the whole process. The first step now will be to reserve your spot in the university. To do so, you will have to notify the school that has accepted you to let them know that you will be going to that college the following year, and you will need to make a deposit to confirm that. You will also need to ask for an I-20, a document given by the university that is essential to go study to the US. It is also recommended and polite to notify the other schools that accepted you that you will be declining their offer.
The next step is very important, especially if you are going to study in the US. You will need to check if your university offers a specific medical insurance for international students, or if you need to get it from an external source. If the university offers this medical insurance, I recommend you follow the steps needed to obtain it. The last step before finally going to the US will be to complete a series of online forms and then attend an in-person interview at the American embassy in your country in order to obtain a US visa. Without a visa, there is no chance of going to the United States.
Last but not least, if you need any help following all of these steps, go to your Mooxye profile and click on the “My tasks” link in order to follow step by step this process.
Once you have your visa, your I-20, medical insurance and everything you need to go study to the US, fasten up your seatbelts because you will be about to live an unforgettable experience! See you on the next post!